Sweet ending to a food feud

TIME, the finest ingredient in the recipe for reconciliation, has at last healed the rift between the eighth best-dressed man in Britain and the country’s top chef.

AA Gill, food critic and metropolitan, has made up with Gordon Ramsay without either man having to eat humble pie.

The journalistic exquisite and the acerbic chef, who once was an Old Firm footballer, were reunited at the 15th birthday bash of the magazine GQ.

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Wearing wide smiles and exuding bonhomie, the most famous enemies in the world of gastronomy appeared to have buried a hatchet that was unsheathed long ago.

The pair embarked on their feud in October 1998 when Ramsay ejected Gill, his wife and their companion, the actress Joan Collins, from his eponymous Chelsea restaurant.

Ramsay claimed Gill insulted a waiter, who asked the journalist if he could take his coat.

Gill, adopting Wildean wit, replied: "Don't you have one of your own?" The riposte elicited his marching orders.

Cynics claimed Gill’s ordering off by the former Rangers player was delivered because the chef took exception to a review written by Gill of Ramsay’s gastronomic shrine, Aubergine.

Gill described Ramsay as a "failed sportsman who acts like an 11-year-old". Ramsay snapped back : "I loathe two things! Gill . . . and okra!"

Gill countered: "Ramsay is a wonderful chef, just a second-rate human being."

However, in the best manner of feuds, it is a thing of the past. The pair were photographed at the GQ bash, where Gill was awarded the dubious accolade of being the eighth best-dressed man in Britain. Ramsay fared better, being named Britain’s top chef. A magazine insider said that they were back on "pally terms".

The insider added: "I think there was a moment when the smiles were stitched on, but they’re chums."

This was confirmed when the Sunday Times writer revealed: "Yup, Gordon and I are fine with each other. Our dispute is over!"

Ramsay, currently in training for the London Marathon, concurred and his spokeswoman said: "It’s true; it’s happened. Things are fine between them.

"It’s a while ago since he asked AA Gill to leave his restaurant. It’s just water under the bridge.

"They have made up like mature adults. They are friends as such and their paths cross quite a lot in the industry."

The spokeswoman confirmed that Gill was now a welcome visitor to Gordon Ramsay’s restaurants - with or without his wife or Joan Collins.

And now that Gill is no longer distilling Ramsay’s anger, the volatile chef can fully concentrate on bashing his fellow celebrity chef, Anthony Worrall Thompson.

Taking a break from the marathon training - he ran last year’s event in under four hours - he revealed that his exercise is driven by a fear that he may become as rotund as his contemporaries.

He said: "I go running because I don’t want to be fat like Anthony Worrall Thompson or Brian Turner. They’ve both let themselves go.

"The thought of the ‘Squirrel’ or the ‘Turnip’ standing naked is just too grim for words."

Ramsay continued: "[Anthony] is a ‘squashed Bee Gee’, who can’t cook to save his life.

"I am not a celebrity chef ... people don’t come to me because they've seen me that morning in Can’t Cook Won’t Cook."

Cutting words

GORDON Ramsay on his critics and his peers.

Nigella Lawson: "Sexy bitch. But the ladies will know what I mean when I say only from the neck up."

Antony Worrall Thompson: "Ready steady tw*t."

Vegetarians, such as Sir Paul McCartney: "A real pain in the a***."

Legendary chef Raymond Blanc: "A little French tw*t."

Nick Nairn: "He should spend more time in the toilet and let it come out of his a******e rather than out of his mouth."

Michael Winner: "A food critic? Don’t make me laugh."

Tory MP Nicholas Soames: "A bit of a dinosaur, totally out of touch with what is going on in the world of fine dining."

And explaining why he refused to cook at a Florida food festival: "It was like asking David Beckham to play in a Sunday League match ."